Covering over 40 countries worldwide, ONTARGET is the largest cardiovascular investigation ever undertaken, with a drug that inhibits angiotensin II, the chemical that causes blood vessels to tighten and narrow. The international medical investigation, sponsored by Boheringer Ingelheim, was meant to compare for the first time, the long-term use of its new drug, Angiotensin Receptor Blocker (ARB) Micardis┬« (telmisartan) with the ACE inhibitor ramipril in protecting patients against cardiovascular death and disease.
The result of the study that involved over 30 000 of high-risk patients who had proven to be intolerant of the ACE Inhibitor ramipril, a benchmark drug that is prescribed to high-risk cardiovascular patients, proved the ARB Micardis patented by Boheringer Ingelheim, not only effective in decreasing risk factors but also very well tolerated.
One of the side effects of Ramipril had been an insistent cough, which has caused terrible compliance of the drug. Professor Kiran Bhagat of the Cardiac Clinic in Gaborone says 20% of the high-risk patients on Ramipril had voluntarily stopped taking the medication to avoid the insistent cough and those that have been prescribed the ARB Micardis, which is now available in Botswana through the Boheringer Ingelheim, Gaborone branch, have been tolerant to it. The office says the new drug is also lower priced in comparison to Ramipril.